Some industry insiders argue that organic, pharmaceutical-grade ethanol, which is a grain alcohol, is optimal and eliminates certain toxins and residues in the raw plant material itself. But others say that while this extraction method yields a high amount of cannabinoids and is GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) for human consumption, it destroys the plant’s waxes, leading to a less potent oil.
Look for brands who source their cannabinoids from organic-certified, hemp-grown farms in pristine regions of Europe. “The German regulatory system is strict and enforced, providing confidence in the superiority of their harvest, processes, and extraction quality,” adds Moriarity. Organic hemp grown in Europe must also adhere to EU’s strict organic standards, which are stricter than in the U.S. and highly audited. Also, look for ingredients that are certified organic and wildcrafted.
“When purchasing a CBD product, keep in mind that a transparent company’s CBD milligram (mg) strength is reflective of the actual active CBD in that particular product,” states Farias. “If a bottle says 250 mg of CBD, then that product should contain 250 mg of actual active CBD. However, a lot of companies currently in the market will list the mg dosage of their CBD hemp oil without publishing the strength of their actual active CBD.”
CBD testing shouldn’t just tell you what’s in a CBD oil, which is usually CBD along with a carrier oil like grapeseed oil and maybe some other essential oils for flavor. It should also let you know what’s not in the package. Thorough testing can confirm that the oil you’re buying is not only real CBD, but that it’s free of contaminants like pesticides and synthetic CBD substitutes.
For some, having more than trace amounts of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) might not be a big deal, but if you’re being drug tested at work, operating heavy machinery, or fall into a number of other categories, you may want to keep the THC to a bare minimum. In order to qualify as a legal hemp product, CBD oil must contain less than 0.03% THC. Look for CBD oil certified to have low levels of, or zero, THC in them. Many reputable sellers do offer products that have absolutely no THC in them at all, so if you are concerned about keeping even trace amounts of TCH out of your body, it is best to look for those products and sellers.